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Comment Re:Hire the unemployed (Score 3, Insightful) 428

You know they could be bringing these people in because all the decent, diligent, intelligent and reliable local workers have jobs already and those without jobs are crap at what they do. Or am I mistaken and actually all Americans, even the thick and stupid ones, are better workers than highly-educated and motivated people from countries like India or from within the EU?

Just a thought.

Comment Re:What does this sentence mean? (Score 5, Insightful) 377

Antibiotics are very quick - their major effect is in the first couple of days of a 10 day (2 week, whatever) course. The extra week or more of pills is to make absulutely sure that everything that can be killed off, is. This is to prevent (or at least restrict) the chance of any drug-resistant strains developing.

One of the major problems in countries like France (where drugs are handed out like sweets) and in the developing world (where people can't afford the whole course, or save some for "next time") is people not finishing up a full course of antibiotics because 3 days in, they feel well and can't see the need to swallow any more of the evil pills that have given them diarrhoea and other stomach problems (the main side effect of broad spectrum antibiotics....).

Comment Re:It fun to out verb (Score 1) 213

*sigh* Have you spared a moment to consider whether the OP is a non-native English speaker?

Slashdot might be based in the US and thus be predominantly Anglo-centric but there are quite a few people on this Earth who aren't native English speakers. English could be this guy's 4th or 5th language for example.

I have no problem with the idea of poking fun at someone's language skills when they should know better (or indeed DO know better but are just being lazy) but assuming everyone speaks MY language at least as well as I do is, in this day and age, very naive.

Comment Re:Software patents in the EU?? (Score 1) 195

It's a METHOD of doing something. You can view each step of the method as a little black box with an input from the previous step and an output to the next. It is irrelevant TO THE METHOD what is in each black box. It could be some hardware, it could be software, it could be a little fairy with a wand and some fairy dust. It doesn't matter. What matters is whether the method - as a series of technical steps - is novel and inventive.

Maybe the method steps are not actually novel or lack an inventive step, I don't know as I've not studied the patent and related prior art and I don't intend to, it's not my field of work. I can only assume my colleagues did a thorough job and found that the method being claimed was both novel and inventive. Implementing something in a computer or with software when that is the only difference to the prior art is not patentable under the EPC as lacking (amongst other things) inventive step. This is very clear if you understand European Patent Law. There must therefore have been, in the eyes of the examiners, something inventive in the particular series of method steps as claimed in the granted patent specification. The parts of the independent claims referring to computer implementation will not have formed part of that reasoning. Furthermore, the general public (and ALL of Apple's competitors) had years in which they could oppose and comment on the application before it was granted and nobody did.

I refer you back to my point - please learn some patent law before commenting on these cases. Yes, I've been around here a while and yes I know that most people comment on stuff here without reading the stories and without actually having any knowledge of the subject in question. I can usually resist but when people are choosing to mock my chosen career and the work carried out by my colleagues in the EPO, without any form of knowledge or study to back-up their obviously idiotic bias, it annoys me a tad.

Comment Re:Software patents in the EU?? (Score 1) 195

Untrue. Yes, the claims in the document everyone keeps linking to and discussing are rubbish and should never be granted - indeed they weren't as that's merely the published application. If you look at the claims of the granted patent specification (and not the published application which everyone keeps linking to) which actually define the scope of protection offered by the patent, you will see 2 independent claims. One is directed towards a method and is phrased in terms of method steps i.e. a series of actions to perform to obtain a desired event or result. The other is an apparatus claim, claiming the device that carries out the method of claim 1.

The method is "computer implemented" sure, but it's not software. Each step has a technical nature "do this, do that, wait for this to occur and then do something etc".

The claims don't claim software as such, they claim a method that can be carried out by software. It is, however the method itself which is granted (rightly or wrongly, I don't know, I don't work in this field) because that combination of method steps is, in the opinion of the examining division, new and inventive. The additional "feature" of it being computer implemented or "in software" is not inventive under the guidelines of the EPC and will have been treated as such.

Comment Re:Software patents in the EU?? (Score 1) 195

I am not going to comment on the validity of the patent as such and please don't take what I'm saying as implying in any way that I believe the patent is valid or invalid. I've not analysed it and it's not in my field of expertise anyway. Saying that, I do have a few patent law (and specifically, European patent law) related bits of info you might like to read:

1) In patent law the words "suitable for" are always implicitly present in a statement such as:

The disclosed embodiments relate generally to portable electronic devices, and more particularly, to portable devices for photo management, such as digital photographing, 5 photo editing, and emailing photos."

In this case, the Galaxy phone is quite definitely suitable for photo management.

2) - 4) No it's not software, it's a method of performing something comprising a series of technical steps. The fact that is can be implemented on a computer, or using software is secondary and irrelevant. It is the method steps themselves which are the invention and upon which the patent is based and upon which the examiner(s) will base their decision. The extent of protection granted by a patent is governed by the claims and not the description. The description merely describes aspects of the invention and will also contain quite a lot of info which is directed at the prior art or to methods of implementing the invention. The mere mention of the word software in the description does not imply that the claims are software-based. Even worse would be to use the title and/or abstract to get angry about a patent. The abstract for example has no legal value whatsoever and has no bearing on the scope of protection offered by the claimed invention. The description is there to aid the skilled man in carrying out the invention AS CLAIMED in the CLAIMS.

The EPO does, of course, have legal mechanisms for objecting to a patent and any stage of it's passage through the EPO system. Up until it was granted, anyone could have filed a 3rd party observation with the EPO which would be read and acted upon (if relevant) by the examiner in charge of the case. The patent was granted on 2010-09-29. By law you could have opposed the patent within 6 months of that date by filing a notice of opposition with the EPO, a facility open to anyone. Once this date is passed, it is no longer the responsibility of the EPO to manage or administer the patent and you would need to go to the patent offices of the individual countries where the patent has been granted to seek redress. Every country has a mechanism for opposing or fighting a granted patent.

Please go and learn some (European) patent law.

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